Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Physical Terrorists

My Dad calls physical therapists "physical terrorists." He's had many many major surgeries, including, most recently, hip replacement, so he's had some tough PT!

My ankle and I went to a physical therapist today, and it was completely unlike physical terrorism.

I went on recommendation of my doctor, who I finally went to see yesterday. I'd been putting off that visit. What's the point, I thought. He'll probably just tell me to stop dancing and TKD.

Well, he didn't. Turns out he's a runner, and he understands about these kinds of injuries.

So today I got to see a physical therapist, a new experience for me.

She started by asking lots of questions: does it hurt all the time? Or when you do certain things? Have you been doing ballet and TKD long? How long? Have you gotten new shoes? Do you walk in hilly areas?

As a freelance writer, I'm usually the one who asks the questions. It was fun to be answering. Also, the questioning was kind of like solving a mystery--narrowing down the problem. That was cool.

She also had me walk while she watched my feet, and she asked me to do some of the ballet moves that bothered the ankle. So there I was doing jet├ęs!

She ended up prescribing a set of exercises to strengthen two muscles: the one along the front of my shin bone, and the one along the side of the foot. If I strengthen those, that will give my foot more stability.

Here's the little stretchy device she gave me to strengthen those muscles.

I also got some arch supports. My extra-high arches are partially to blame for unstable feet and my metatarsal ligament problems . . .

"Now it'll take a while before you can tell a difference--at least 3 to 4 weeks," she told me.

"No problem," I said. Exercise is like that; I know that already. And I'm willing to stick to this strengthening if it helps me do the things I love.

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